‘Tis the Season with Lucille Clifton and Patricia Polacco

Recommended holiday reads:

1. Everett Anderon’s Christmas Coming by Lucille Clifton. Illustrated by Jan Spivey Gilchrist. Published by Henry Holt and Co. 1993. An owlet book. We read this book in the classroom, this past Friday before vacation.

ImageNow, this book is out of print, and selling for a small fortune on the Amazon market. I bought it for about $3.00, including shipping, this summer….because I KNEW the price would sky rocket, because that’s what’s been happening of late with invaluable picture books..(that’s what I’ve been trying to tell ya’ll). Anyways, if you nag the sellers on Amazon, the price should drop.

For example, back in February of 2012, I bought bell hooks’ out of print picture book, Skin Again, for $6.00 off of Amazon.Then, this past summer, I had a house flood, and the precious book was nearly destroyed. When I searched Amazon, and elsewhere online, for a replacement, the prices ranged from $65.00-$900. Hmmph. The sums of those hefty prices were not being pocketed by Ms. hooks, I can assure you that. Just another case of literature gentrification. I see it often in the #kidlit world. Anyhoo, I nagged every single dealer of Skin Again on Amazon, and stated that I wouldn’t pay more than $19.00 for it. All dealers refused to lower the price claiming they go by rankings blah dee blah. I began following the sales of it online. I also removed my praising blog posts of bell hooks’ picture books, in order to depopularize the book, as I had been the only blogger of hooks’ works for children, in the last year. The price finally dropped to the teens in November, and I bought a used copy for $18.00, from one of the sellers who originally listed it for $65.00.

So, I don’t recommend paying outlandish prices for necessary children’s literature. If the money was going into the hands of people in the community, then fine. I’d pay the small fortune. But it’s not, so I won’t. I just wait for sales to go down. GIVE US BACK OUR LITERATURE, I say.

ImageI prefer the vintage illustrations, by Evaline Ness, in the original 1971 publication of Clifton’s Everett Anderson’s Christmas Coming.  Take an inside look below:Image

Image

2. Three Wishes by Lucille Clifton. Illustrations by Michael Hays, Delacorte, 1992. It’s a New Year’s tale about friendship, loyalty, and faith. I plan to read this story in the classroom, on January 3rd, when the students return.

Image

The original Three Wishes was illustrated by Stephanie Douglas, published by Viking (New York, NY) 1976.

Image

4. The Trees of the Dancing Goats by Patricia Polacco

Image

5. Christmas Tapestry by Patricia Polacco

Image

I realize that I didn’t get into much, or any, description of what these beloved holiday stories entail. However, if you appreciate the authors I’ve chosen, and are moved by the illustrations, and can google a summary of the books, then I say that you’re in good shape to go discover more about these books on your own.

Happy 2014, everyone! Love greatly and read fervently.

– The Picture Book Pusher

K2 Read Alouds: Week 4: Community

Skipped week 3. I was doing things.

My district has a new K2 curriculum. I’m cool with it. It’s not all encompassing, and pretty much all of it is practices that I’ve been doing in my classroom already. So I’m responding to implementing much of it a lot better than I’ve responded to any previous curriculums that I’ve been told to use.  The first 6-week unit is, ‘Community’, beginning with the sub-theme, “friendship”. They recommend quite a few picture books, on friendship. I use different books on “friendship” other than the recommended list, but a few of them I will use. I will note if the read aloud choice was a suggestion from my district’s new K2 curriculum. If you see a lot of titles with the word ‘Friends’ in my weekly read aloud posts, you now know why.

Here’s what we read last week:

Monday

Everett Anderson’s Friend by Lucille Clifton. Illustrated by Ann Grifalconi.

Everett Anderson's Friend By Lucille Clifton Illustrated by Ann Grifalconi Published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston. 1976

Everett Anderson’s Friend
By Lucille Clifton
Illustrated by Ann Grifalconi
Published by Holt, Rinehart and Winston. 1976
OUT OF PRINT

Tuesday

True Friends by John Kilaka

True Friends By John Kilaka Published by Groundwood Books. 2006

True Friends
By John Kilaka
Published by Groundwood Books. 2006

Wednesday

Fresh Fish by John Kilaka

Fresh Fish By John Kilaka Published by Groundwood Books. 2005

Fresh Fish
By John Kilaka
Published by Groundwood Books. 2005

Thursday

The Book of Mean People By Toni Morrison & Slade Morrison. Illustrated by Pascal Lemaitre

The Book of Mean People By Toni Morrison & Slade Morrison Illustrated by Pascal Lemaitre. Published by Disney-Hyperion. 2002

The Book of Mean People
By Toni Morrison & Slade Morrison
Illustrated by Pascal Lemaitre.
Published by Disney-Hyperion. 2002
OUT OF PRINT

Friday

Da Goodie Monsta by Robert Peters

Da Goodie Monsta By Robert Peters Published by Wiggles Press. 2009

Da Goodie Monsta
By Robert Peters
Published by Wiggles Press. 2009

What The Teacher (me) is Reading, This Week:

Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope By bell hooks Published by Routledge. 2003

Teaching Community: A Pedagogy of Hope
By bell hooks
Published by Routledge. 2003

 

Thank you for reading The Picture Book Pusher

Ideal Picture Books for the K2 Classroom

So this year, I will be teaching Kindergarten in an Inclusion setting, rather than first grade. I’ve taught K2 before so I’m cool with it. I will miss guiding students in the persuasive essay process though. That’s right, persuasive essays in first grade.

Anyhow, the following picture books will surely be permanent fixtures in our K2 space. They are ideal and hard to come by.

The Sweet and Sour Animal Book By Langston Hughes

The Sweet and Sour Animal Book
By Langston Hughes

The Book of Mean People By Toni Morrison & Slade Morrison Illustrated by Pascal Lemaitre

The Book of Mean People
By Toni Morrison & Slade Morrison
Illustrated by Pascal Lemaitre

Grump Groan Growl By bell hooks Illustrated by Chris Raschka

Grump Groan Growl
By bell hooks
Illustrated by Chris Raschka

Life Doesn't Frighten Me by Maya Angelou Illustrated by Jean-Michel Basquiat

Life Doesn’t Frighten Me
by Maya Angelou
Illustrated by Jean-Michel Basquiat

One by Kathryn Otoshi

One by Kathryn Otoshi

Lil Man Makes a Name for Himself Written & Illustrated by Caleb Neelon Cantab Publishing 2004

Lil Man Makes a Name for Himself
Written & Illustrated by Caleb Neelon
Cantab Publishing 2004

Queen of the Scene by Queen Latifah Illustrated by Frank Morrison

Queen of the Scene by Queen Latifah
Illustrated by Frank Morrison

These are some of my faves. Find them where you can.

Thanks for reading The Picture Book Pusher

My March Trip to Frugal Book Store in Roxbury. 2013

I’m usually in this store every other month. Many of the picture books that I blog about, I purchased from Frugal Book Store.

“Changing minds one book at a time.” – Frugal Book Store

What I bought – Listed by Publisher:

Jump at the Sun/Disney. New York.

Unknown-5

Be Boy Buzz
Written by bell hooks.
Illustrated by Chris Raschka.
2002
Published for Jump at the Sun
New York

All boy. Big open heart. Sweet mind.

– hooks 2002.

That’s right. I am the last person in the country to buy, from an actual bookstore, a new, hard cover, first-edtion copy of bell hook’s Be Boy Buzz. That may be an exaggeration, but, as I mentioned in my previous blog post, bell hook’s children’s books are no longer in print. The owner of Frugal Book Store went down into the basement to find this for me. They didn’t even have it on the shelves.  Now I don’t have to fret over students eagerly borrowing my paperback edition. Frugal still has multiple copies of the paperback edition for sale, though! No other bookstore does. It’s a miracle to still see hook’s picture books on the shelf for sale still. It’s the way it should be.

The Skin i'm in  by Sharon G. Flake 1998 Published for Jump at the Sun New York

The Skin i’m in
by Sharon G. Flake
1998
Published for Jump at the Sun
New York

Winner of the Coretta Scott King/ John Steptoe New Voices Award. I bought this book for a few reasons: 1. I will buy any book that is an original publication of Jump at the Sun publishers. 2. I’ve been meaning to read Sharon G. Flake’s work. 3. I’m attracted to the plot: biracial teacher, identity issues.

You Don't Even Know Me by Sharon G. Flake 2010 Published for Jump at the Sun New York

You Don’t Even Know Me
by Sharon G. Flake
2010
Published for Jump at the Sun
New York

Now matter what I think I may understand,  I must constantly remind myself that: I know nothing! You Don’t Even Know Me is an obvious need-to-buy. This is the same book, I just learned about a few days ago for the first time, while I was trying to find out why Jump at the Sun publishing imprint no longer exists. This book was on the silhouette website page for Jump at the Sun, that I describe in my previous blog post. And here, Frugal Book Store has it! They are the only book store that I know of to still carry Jump at the Sun books.

Atheneum Books For Young Children: An imprint of Simon &  Schuster. New York

Jenny Reen and the Jack Muh Lantern 1996 Published for Atheneum Books for Young Readers New York

Jenny Reen and the Jack Muh Lantern
1996
Published for Atheneum Books for Young Readers
New York

Once upon a time,…there was a time of great tears…In this hardest of hard times there was still joy because there were children, children with round cheeks and round curls. Such a child was Jenny Reen.

– Smalls 1996

I bought this book because it is written by beloved children’s author Irene Smalls. Smalls, like other cherished children’s book authors, is experiencing THE HAND! Yup. The hand. Publishers who own the rights of many of her books, are no longer publishing them. I’ll write more about this method of oppression in a future blog post. Jenny Reen and the Jack Muh Lantern is one of Smalls’ books that she owns the rights to, and therefore it is alive and printing well! Irene, if you are reading this post, then I’d like to ask you: Can we do lunch? We live in the same city! Wadda yuh say?

Abrams Books for Young Readers. New York

images-3

Maritcha: A Nineteenth Century American Girl
By Tonya Bolden
2005
Published for Abrams
New York

This is the true account of Maritcha Rémond Lyons; based off her autobiographical memoirs and scrap books. She was an assistant principal at Public School No. 83 in Brooklyn, New York. She passed away in 1929.  This book has been out for eight years, and I am just learning about it now. And I call myself a progressive teacher. Hmmph!  There’s just so much newly-exposed history. I am eager to uncover it. I owe it to my students. It is their history to know. It is a gem of a book.  The publishers did a fine job of including ample photos of Maritcha’s original journal and scrap book. Looking through it, I am flooded with the same feelings I get when looking through my great grandmother’s scrap book. She too, a New Yorker, Harlem bred.

Random House. New York

Harlem's Little Blackbird Written by Renée Watson Illustrated by Christian Robinson 2012 Published by Random House New York

Harlem’s Little Blackbird
Written by Renée Watson
Illustrated by Christian Robinson
2012
Published by Random House
New York

If my voice can take me around the world, what else can it do?

– Watson 2012.

This story is about Florence Mills. Harlem, bred.

Houghton Mifflin. Boston. New York.

These Hands By Margaret H. Mason Illustrated by Floyd Cooper 2010 Published by Houghton Mifflin Books For Children. Boston. New York

These Hands
By Margaret H. Mason
Illustrated by Floyd Cooper
2010
Published by
Houghton Mifflin Books For Children.
Boston. New York

These Hands is the biographical account of Joseph Barnett’s experiences while working in the 1950’s and 60’s, at the Wonder Bread factory. The Wonder Bread Corporation maintained great racial discrimination practices throughout the Civil Rights Movement and beyond.

A & B Publishing Group. Brooklyn, NY.

Nandi's Magic Garden Written by Ron Matthews Illustrated by David Jones (Year ?) A&B Publishers Group Brooklyn

Nandi’s Magic Garden
Written by Ron Matthews
Illustrated by David Jones
(Year ?)
A&B Publishers Group
Brooklyn

Just Us Books. Orange, NJ.

Land of the Four Winds Written by Veronica Freeman Ellis Illustrated by Sylvia Walker 1993 Just Us Books Orange, NJ.

Land of the Four Winds
Written by Veronica Freeman Ellis
Illustrated by Sylvia Walker
1993
Just Us Books
Orange, NJ.

African American Images. Chicago, IL.

Markita Written by Alissa Nash Illustrated by Doby London 1994 Published by African American Images Chicago

Markita
Written by Alissa Nash
Illustrated by Doby London
1994
Published by African American Images
Chicago

The Best Face of All Written by Wilesse A.F. Commissiong Illustrated by Buck Brown 1991 Published by African American Images Chicago

The Best Face of All
Written by Wilesse A.F. Commissiong
Illustrated by Buck Brown
1991
Published by African American Images
Chicago

The trip was well worth it. From their generous teacher discount, to their ever-expanding children’s section, complete with numerous academic and educational toys & activities. Knowledgable and friendly staff.

Also, children get a free book on their birthday!

Frugal Book Store is located:

Inside the Washington Park Mall
306 Martin Luther King Blvd.
Boston, MA 02119

617-541-1722

@FrugalBookstore 

facebook.com/Frugal.Books

Thanks for reading The Picture Book Pusher.

‘Skin Again’ by bell hooks is Hard to Come By

I’m about picture books that elicit mindfulness. Skin Again by bell hooks, illustrated by Chris Raschka, does just that.

Image

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that Skin Again is no longer in print.  I just received my first-edition, hardcover, copy off of Amazon. It is technically used, but it’s in perfect condition.

You can find all about me/ coming close and letting go/

of who you might think/ I am/

before you come inside/

and let me be real and you become real/ to me.

– hooks. Skin Again. 2004.

Yeah. She’s that good. Everything that a picture book should, and can be – it’s all right here in Skin Again. Raschka’s illustrations are symbiotic with hook’s words. A child read aloud to, from this book, will be naturally, and sustainably engaged because the book offers an honest, mindful, and poetic perspective on physical differences and universal commonalities. Children are naturally attracted to truth.

Be with me inside the me of me, all made up of stories present, past, future/ some true to life and others all fun and fantasy, all the way I imagine me

Photo on 2013-03-08 at 14.56

Skin Again by bell hooks. Illustrated by Chris Raschka.
Jump at the Sun books, an imprint of Hyperion Books for Children, an imprint of Disney.
New York 2004

Skin Again was published in 2004 originally for a small press named Jump at the Sun, which became an imprint of Hyperion Books for Children in New York, only to finally be absorbed by the Disney Co.  Jump at the Sun was a publishing press dedicated to producing afrocentric children’s literature.

“Jump at the Sun: Ten Years of Celebrating Black Culture for all Children” – Disney·Hyperion 2003

The above quote is the heading for Jump at the Sun’s website; a website that no longer exists. Below, is a silhouette of the original jumpatthesun website. It’s a snapshot of the original  site.  Check it out. http://www.leibowstudios.com/webdevelop/hyperion/jump/index.html#

Within the first pages of Skin Again, you can find the website: http://www.jumpatthesun.com . If you click on the link, it takes you straight to Disney’s children’s books’ website.

All of the beautifully published books, originally published for Jump at the Sun (over 200 titles), for Hyperion Books for Children, are in no way a part of Disney’s available books. They’re not mentioned anywhere. Hyperion Books for Children no longer exists either.

Web space regentrification at its finest. African American children’s literature is being regentrified. I see it more and more.

I suggest that you get your copy of Skin Again while you can.  I bought mine, in perfect condition,  for about $6.50 on Amazon. There are now new copies being sold for up to $120 online. Skin Again is still easier to acquire than some of hooks’ other titles.  All six of bell hooks’ children’s books were published through Jump at the Sun. All six are currently out of print.  I have them all except for  Be Love, Baby Love. It is impossible to come across. High or low. Online or on the street.  Oh, Disney.

Thanks for reading The Picture Book Pusher.

Unknown-2 Unknown-3 Unknown-4 Unknown-5

Source: http://isbndb.com/d/book/skin_again.html

Charis Books and More: Your Independent Feminist Bookstore

Photo taken by me. In Little 5 Points, Atlanta. January 2013.

Photo taken by me. In Little 5 Points, Atlanta. January 2013.

I payed my first visit to this bookstore a few weeks ago, while down in Atlanta visiting friends. What’s most beautiful about this bookstore, is that it has such a large children’s section. One would think that it does not cater to the minds of the young; carrying only texts in feminist theory. Not at all. In fact, they carried a wide array of titles. Many of which I haven’t heard of before.

Children's section at Charis Books, in Atlanta.Photo taken by me. 2013.

Children’s section at Charis Books, in Atlanta.
Photo taken by me. 2013.

What I bought:

DSC01585

The Biggest Kiss written by Joanna Walsh, illustrated by Judi Abbot
Published by Simon & Schuster/Paula Wiseman Books. 2011

“A kiss with honey, a kiss that’s yummy, a kiss on the elbow, a kiss on the tummy.” – Joanna Walsh

The Biggest Kiss is such an enjoyable read. Although, it may not be mindful of me to read it aloud with enthusiasm, to my students. It definitely encourages kissing. I want to read it to them, but the joy that I want it to induce, may turn into children taking liberties that they cannot. I already have some students that are overly zealous about touching and kissing their peers. (by touching I mean hugging, and grabbing, not ‘guidance counselor’ worthy “touching”). As a first-grade teacher, I practice the theory of “personal space”. No matter how much fun kisses on cheeks may be, it is not something that I can encourage them to do to each other. If another kid kisses another on the cheek, and the kissed child does not mind, then I don’t say anything, but if a child doesn’t like it, I must set boundaries.

Therefore, I will keep this book in the take-home Lending Library. Children can enjoy this story, at home with their families.

The Princess and the Pea. Retold by Rachel IsadoraPublished by Puffin. 2009.

The Princess and the Pea. Retold by Rachel Isadora
Published by Puffin. 2009.

I have much respect for author Rachel Isadora. Re-imaging fairytale classics. Yes. She has many titles in this series of retold fairytale classics. I will absolutely keep this book in the classroom for the children to read, and will read it aloud at some point. But I must tell you, that as a teacher, my acceptance of princess-focused literature is an flux.   I want to steer away from our culture’s long history of associating princess life with girlhood. The two main components of princess-themed literature that I aim to disassociate with girlhood are: the blonde-haired, blue-eyed standard, AND, prince charming!  Prince charming does not exhibit any qualities that one should seek in a mate. Prince charming’s character often resembles that of an abuser’s wooing stage. Blindly in-love with the princess, and wants to do everything for her because she is meek, fragile, worthy of worship and a caged life. Prince charming embodies ‘Chivalry’. Chivalry is a concept based on falsehoods. I sharpied the word out of our classroom’s dictionaries. That’s right.

Although this story does character a prince looking for a “real princess”, it also shows that princess look like any woman. The prince in the story cannot tell the difference between the two. Because, ladies and gentlemen, there is no difference. That is the message I will tell my students when reading it.

IMG_0588

I bought 2 coloring books by Jacinta Bunnel.
Girls Will Be Boys Will Be Girls Will Be…Coloring Book
by Jacinta Bunnell and Irit Reinheimer. Published by Soft Skull Press. 2004.
Sometimes the Spoon Runs Away with Another Spoon Coloring Book
by Jacinta Bunnel & Nathaniel Kusinitz.
Published by PM Press, and Reach And Teach.

I just had to get these two coloring books. I had never seen such books before. There are pages in them, that I will not photocopy for the children, but about half of the pages in each book, are appropriate for the public school classroom.  Some of the more appropriate pages, I include in my previous blog post: What’s in a Coloring Page Anyways?

Appalachian Elegy: Poetry and Place by bell hooks.Published by University Press of Kentucky. 2012.

Appalachian Elegy: Poetry and Place by bell hooks.
Published by University Press of Kentucky. 2012.

Ah bell hooks. Okay, so I did not buy this one for the classroom, but I can very well see myself including one or two of it’s poems in our June poetry unit.  I mostly include poetry written for adults in our poetry unit. See my previous blog post Poetry in Pictures.

If you are not familiar with the works of bell hooks, and you are an educator, then I highly recommend two of her books for you. Teaching to Transgress: Education as the Practice of Freedom, and  All About Love: New Visions.

Here are some snapshots I took while in Charis Books. It was too beautiful not to capture.

Children's section in Charis Books, Little 5 Points, Atlanta, GA.Photo taken by me. 2013

Children’s section in Charis Books, Little 5 Points, Atlanta, GA.
Photo taken by me. 2013

Children's section in Charis Books, Little 5 Points, Atlanta, GA.Photo taken by me. 2013

Children’s section in Charis Books, Little 5 Points, Atlanta, GA.
Photo taken by me. 2013

Children's section in Charis Books, Little 5 Points, Atlanta, GA.Photo taken by me. 2013

Children’s section in Charis Books, Little 5 Points, Atlanta, GA.
Photo taken by me. 2013

Children's section in Charis Books, Little 5 Points, Atlanta, GA.Photo taken by me. 2013

Children’s section in Charis Books, Little 5 Points, Atlanta, GA.
Photo taken by me. 2013

Children's section in Charis Books, Little 5 Points, Atlanta, GA.Photo taken by me. 2013

Children’s section in Charis Books, Little 5 Points, Atlanta, GA.
Photo taken by me. 2013

First bookstore visit to ignite tears of joy in me. I cried twice over their beloved children’s section. I scoffed once over their non-existent teachers’ discount. If I was given no reason to scoff, my purchases would have been far greater. Non the less, I would  visit this bookstore again, next time I’m in Atlanta.

Charis Books and More

Located in Little 5 Points.

1189 Euclid Ave NE  Atlanta, GA 30307
(404) 524-0304

www.charisbooksandmore.com/

Teacher discount: 0%

Thank you for reading The Picture Book Pusher